Friday, April 18, 2008

The regressive right

If you want to know why I'm turning more and more cynical during this election year, go read the article posted on Common Dreams called "Let’s All Pretend". Here's a little bit of it:

Barack Obama did it again!

He told the truth. Jesus Christ, when is somebody gonna get to this guy and teach him the rules of American politics?

Dude, it goes like this: We’re bringing democracy to the Middle East. Tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy are to stimulate the economy. George Bush is more patriotic than Al Gore. Our government is there to serve the people. America is always a force for good in the world. There is a god; he is a nice fatherly-looking Caucasian fellow with a big snowy beard (if the resemblance to the god of American children — Santa Claus — doesn’t by itself tell you everything you need to know about religion, you’re still not paying attention!). And he’s quite angry at Muslims and other people who didn’t get the memo on who to worship.

You have to say these things — and a whole lot more sheer nonsense — in American politics if you want to have any hope of winning. When a Milquetoast punk like John Kerry defines the port-side limit to what American voters are willing to hear, while any lunatic freak gone way to starboard — like Coulter or Falwell — can blurt out the most outrageous defamations, and any two-bit thief named Bush can actually be handed the nuclear trigger, you know how ridiculously deluded we are. By the time you get done thinking about what can’t be said in this country, you have to wonder what the fuss concerning the First Amendment is all about. Who cares about freedom of speech if you’re not going to actually use it?
Americans are being tested now. They know they’re dissatisfied with the crappy cards they’ve been dealt these last three decades. They know that Bush is a disaster. They know that he’s such a loser that even his parents told him so when he was growing up. (Nowadays Poppy and Bar just try to pretend the kid doesn’t exist at all. Who can blame them? On top of your own weak and forgotten presidency, how’d you like to know that you fathered the worst president in the entire history of the republic? Ouch.) Unfortunately, because they’ve been rigorously dumbed down and subjected to relentless conservative propaganda and highly successful reframing efforts, Americans haven’t yet put together that the source of their malady is itself the regressive right, who of course always claim to be the greatest of patriots.

Just go read the rest of it. Really sums things up.

UPDATE: Here are some very good points made by a commenter to the above article:

Realistically, if [Obama] were to come out now and endorse socialized medicine, a slashing of the Pentagon budget, a sharp tax rise for the rich, an immediate end to the Iraq war and the threats to Iran, and a crash program to replace all the destructive methods of generating energy–oil, coal, ethanol, and nukes–with true renewables, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, that would be great but he would be quickly destroyed. Likely they’d kill him–he’d die in a plane crash or of a hereditary heart condition not previously known, or a James Earl Ray would shoot him. Or, possibly the media could manage to marginalize him as they did Kucinich. But as President, he’d have considerably more power to speak freely and to make change happen. And this is the only real hope we have–Cynthia McKinney is not going to become President, nor is Nader. McCain would be a nightmare this country absolutely can’t afford, and Clinton would be little different. So yes, you can note that your hope is based on thin threads, while still supporting the best remaining chance of this country moving in the right direction before our charge in the wrong direction brings about the collapse of civilization.

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